The U.S. Abrams tanks needed to train Ukrainian forces have arrived in Germany and are en route to the Grafenwoehr Army base where training will begin in the next few weeks, the Associated Press reported on May 11, citing U.S. officials.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee that by the time Ukrainian forces complete a roughly 10-week training, the Abrams tanks currently being built for Ukraine will be ready. Around 250 Ukrainian troops will be trained on how to maintain and use the tanks, the AP reported earlier.
The tanks that will be sent to Ukraine are being modified to its military specifications and are expected to arrive in Ukraine by early fall, a U.S. official told the AP on the condition of anonymity.
In late January, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he would be sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine, in response to a call from U.S. lawmakers to provide Kyiv with the tanks. The purpose of this was alleged to pressure Germany into authorizing the delivery of their own Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Compared with Soviet tanks, which Ukraine and Russia both currently use on the battlefield, the mobility and firepower of Western equipment could help Ukraine launch more effective counteroffensive operations.